What are we doing?
Staff in the Evolution and Development Research Group study how motor, behavioural and cognitive processes change in relation to life history variables and during the course of evolution. We conduct both fundamental and applied research on autism, child safety, language and cognition, decision-making, attention and memory, human-animal interaction, perspective-taking, individual differences, atypical development, and handedness. We focus on a range of species, including humans (from new-born infants to older adults), dogs, non-human primates and fish. We have excellent facilities and equipment for our research; e.g. Babylab, Motor lab, field sites for primate research. Our methods include Intermodal Preferential Looking, Eye-tracking, Adult EEG, Motion Analysis, Safety Education Training, Elicitation methods, Interviews, and Response Time Measures.
Why is it important?
We address key questions in science, including understanding the development of typical children and children with special educational needs, decision-making, cooperation and competition. Our research has significant and wide impact on policy for road safety, dog bite prevention, animal conservation, surrogate decision-making, motor and language development. Members of our Research Group have received prestigious grants from a range of funding bodies, including ESRC, the National Institute of Health, the Primate Society of Great Britain, the Leakey Foundation. We have also repeatedly won prestigious funding from charities and industry, e.g. from Waltham and MARS. We offer consultancy for the Department for Work and Pensions, International Union for the Conservation of Nature as well as research on bilingualism in children.
How are we different?
We are an interdisciplinary research group with a comprehensive and open-minded approach to psychology: we believe there is clear scientific value in crossing boundaries between psychology and traditionally distinct scientific disciplines like anthropology, economics, linguistics, (veterinary) medicine and physiology. We foster a large community of post-graduate students and have established collaborations within our University, with other national and international Universities, charities and the industry. We organise public events, conferences and workshops, such as the Summer Scientist, Northern League Developmental Meeting, NordForsk Meeting, Primate Society of Great Britain Conference. Via the path of interdisciplinarity, our research continues to produce significant real-life impact for society.